Malvern won 6-5 on penalties
Although this was the day many said Christmas was cancelled, Malvern and Khalsa served up a bona fide Christmas cracker with ten goals in a seesaw clash before a nailbiting shootout saw the home side progress.
In front of a Covid-secure capacity crowd, this was a cup clash that both sides deserve huge credit for.
Khalsa took the lead on seven minutes, a lucky own goal with Sean Williams the architect.
The lead lasted ten minutes, Jay Sauntson heading home beautifully in off the post from a left wing free kick. And the home side took the lead on 22 minutes, a fine finish by Harry Clark on the break down the left.
Williams and Gaz Singh, plugging away up top were being frustrated by the Malvern defensive ranks but it was the home side who extended their lead on 37 minutes, Clark rampaging through and slotting past Sam Arnold.
Just before the break, Khalsa had a couple of half chances to get back into the game, Williams’ header flew a few yards wide and then Kieron Blackburn in the Malvern goal made a good save from Josh McKenzie.
The benefits of the change did not immediately present themselves with Malvern making it four quicky after the restart, Joe Bates finishing well.
Tes Robinson reduced the arrears with a header to make it 4-2 before, almost immediately, the home side were awarded a penalty perhaps best described as soft which would prove something of a turning point.
Arnold stopped the effort from Turner and then quick goals from Jake Gosling and Jones made it 4-4 when it could easily have been 5-2.
Bullock produced a great clearance off the line from Jones as Khalsa sought to gain the upper hand.
With moments to go, Robinson conceded a free kick which was deflected, landing at the feet of Clark who wrapped up his hat-trick in style to surely give the home side the victory.
But in stoppage time a free kick was nodded back by Robinson to Fullaway whose header somehow made it over the line to pull Khalsa back to 5-5.
In the Covid-era this meant the game going straight to penalties. The crucial moment came with Blackburn saving from Robinson before McKenzie struck the wordwork to give Malvern the edge in a thrilling encounter.
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco, Lewis Worsey, Matt Fulloway, Tes Robinson, Alex Woodhouse, Liam Armstrong (Kieron Whittaker), Sean Williams (James McGrady), Josh McKenzie, Jake Gosling, Gaz Singh (Ethan Jones). Subs not used: Mike Perks, Adnan Yussif, Dan Okojie, Dilsher Singh.